6.68 Wii Us sold as of June 30th
"Please understand." Nintendo's boilerplate apology has felt like a distant memory of late following a resurgent year for the Wii U and a cracking E3 performance, but the latest quarterly financial report reveals that us Europeans won't be able to play the Wii U's biggest Christmas release before year's end. A shame, perhaps, because stonking sales of Mario Kart 8 haven't quite managed to pull the company out of another operating loss.
Let's rip the bandage off immediately. Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker has been delayed into January 2015 here in the PAL region, despite other territories receiving the exciting puzzler in the holiday season. No reason has been given for the delay, perhaps beyond a fear of the tax and workload implications of earning all that extra money. Scratch one off the list, then.
Thus ends the genuine 'news' bit that actually affects us gamers. Unless you own shares in Nintendo, or for some reason feel that you have a personal stake in sales figures for massive trans-national corporations, I suggest that you bug out and read some of our exciting coverage about games.
Okay. Let's do this. Treasure Tracker's delay will put the focus squarely on Hyrule Warriors, Bayonetta 2 and Super Smash Bros Wii U to shift consoles, alongside the excellent previously-released lineup. The Amiibo NFC figure line is also slated to arrive this year, and will presumably be heavily marketed in terms of its cross-platform character transfer functionality with Super Smash Bros. If Super Smash Bros' Wii U version arrives in the holiday season, pushing back Treasure Tracker might actually be a smart move.
On the subject of "excellent previously-released" titles, Mario Kart 8 managed to sell over 2.82 million copies during its first month on sale -- as the figures are accurate up to June 30th. Quarterly Wii U sales spiked to 510,000 consoles worldwide during the quarter as a result of the long-awaited system seller. This is a spectacular figure for a console exclusive on hardware with 6.68 million unit install base, and richly deserved too, but sadly sales of £431m couldn't avert a £54.7m loss over the three month period.
We suspect that July sales will continue to increase due to gamers taking advantages of bundles and the Mario Kart 8 free game promotion.
So as far as the rest of the year is concerned, the 3DS once again poised to save the day like a plastic knight in stereoscopic armour. Its version of Super Smash Bros, along with Pokemon Alpha Sapphire and Omega Ruby, will effectively pump enormous sums of money directly from our wallets into Nintendo's coffers (not to mention plenty of smaller and niche games headed to the platform). As it stands, the 3DS has now shifted 44.14 million consoles, and personally is still my favourite gaming platform du jour.
Here are the hardware sales as they stand.
We're currently loving the Wii U and its sensational games library, though it will be interesting to see whether Nintendo will be able to build on this initial excitement throughout the rest of 2014 and beyond -- and translate that into more Wii U console sales.
With luck we'll be too busy playing great games to worry about the numbers.